Arailym Kamzabek

Specialization: general medicine. Internship: Mayo Clinic, USA.

Arailym is from Almaty, she is 23. In her free time, the girl enjoys riding a bike, watching Marvel movies and walking in the rain. She also has an unusual collection of photographs taken in libraries around the world, which our compatriot has visited. Now Arailym is an intern of the 6th year of the Astana Medical University. In 2020, she won a grant from the Shakhmardan Yessenov Foundation and did her research during internship at the top US hospital. After graduating from university, she is applying for a residency – studying medicine is a long process. Here it is the story of a future doctor who is already helping people today.

How did you come to become a doctor?
I chose medicine in the 10th grade at school. I am attracted to the balance of science (theory) and clinical practice in it. And these are great opportunities for choosing activities within each specialty. I want to become an interventional cardiologist.

How did you find out about the Scholarship competition and how did it go for you?
I found out quite by accident: from the news feed of my university’s website. I decided to apply. Each stage of the competition was quite intense. I remember the intense team tasks in the final, that’s when I met the rest of the participants. Why I was lucky enough to win, I can’t say for sure, but I can guess. The reason was probably in being myself and having a specific goal – to win.

Tell us about the internship?
The Mayo Clinic’s huge advantage was that it combines research, practice and study in its activities. During the internship I participated in two projects. One of them was related to the introduction of the clinical decision support tools in the management of patients with familial hypercholesterolemia. This is a genetic disease characterized by a high level of so-called “bad cholesterol”. In the absence of treatment, the patient often develops a myocardial infarction which could be fatal.

My laboratory has developed a notification system in electronic patient records that calculates risk and notifies doctors. The system offers to choose studies and treatment options. The second project was related to the Genome Informed Risk Assessment. Meaning an algorithm that shows the risk of getting sick with a particular disease based on the history of appeals, the patient’s family history and diagnostics. My laboratory has developed a formula for calculating the risk for coronary heart disease.

What else have you achieved during your internship?
I got acquainted with a completely different healthcare system and learned how to conduct clinical research. Our work opens up new opportunities for early detection and prevention of ischemia. There I also passed one of the most difficult USMLE Step 1 and scored a good score, which will apparently help me become a real professional.

What have you discovered in America?
Everything was new. The research itself, from which we are still so far away in Kazakhstan. Democratic team culture: the opinion of each team member was respected, regardless of regalia, positions and achievements. I also liked the attitude towards patients. The patient’s interests are above all — this is the motto of the Mayo Clinic. I brought all this with me to Kazakhstan. The time of the trip to America coincided with many holidays: Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year. My friends and colleagues from the clinic invited me to family dinners on these holidays, and it was quite a unique experience. Every family gathers in a warm and cozy atmosphere, watches old movies, exchanges gifts. I felt like I was not only part of their culture, but a family.

Can you share some life hacks?
There are quite a few of them, since I went through the whole process for two placements: the Mayo Clinic in Rochester and the University of California in San Francisco. It turned out that I was sent two invitations, and I accepted both, having won the grant of the foundation and I also added my savings. So my internship lasted 7 months. The most important life hack, no matter how simple it may sound, is to believe in yourself and your strength. Finding an internship is a stressful process, but with the right attitude and a good plan, anything is possible, even in a pandemic.

15.06.22, Stories

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